Natural Lands Project: Increasing Early Successional Habitat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore
The River and Field Campus (RAFC, formerly Chino Farms) exemplifies the balance between productive agriculture and diverse wildlife habitat on working lands on Maryland’s upper shore. The dedication to maintaining this balance, particularly managing early successional habitat, has resulted in the largest Northern Bobwhite population in Maryland, proving that bobwhite can thrive alongside modern agriculture. Using our efforts on RAFC as a model, we launched the Natural Lands Project (NLP) in 2015 to work with landowners on Maryland’s Eastern shore interested in creating a similar balance on their properties that support diverse wildlife populations and improve water quality while maintaining productive agricultural land. Northern Bobwhite are the motivating factor for many landowners willing to make these changes to their land, but countless other less charismatic species benefit as a result of planting diverse native wildflower meadows and restoring wetlands. Learn about current and historical factors affecting bobwhite populations and other grassland/shrubland birds, what we are doing on RAFC and NLP project sites to help these declining species and what you may be able to do to help as well.
Dan Small is the Natural Lands Project Coordinator at Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society. His focus is on creating and managing early successional habitat for declining grassland wildlife on agricultural properties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He also helps oversee habitat management activities on the College’s River and Field Campus with a focus on early successional habitat for Northern Bobwhite. Before coming to Washington College, Dan worked on avian research projects involving seabird monitoring on Midway Island, migration banding in Alaska and Ohio, breeding ecology of Phainopepla in Nevada and hummingbird research on the island of Tobago. He has a degree in biology from Bridgewater State University and a Masters of Natural Resources Stewardship from the Colorado State University. Dan is an avid birder, serving on the Maryland and DC avian records committee and is a Maryland Biodiversity Project board member.
Thursday, April 18